According to Chinese Medicine theory, Autumn is associated with the metal element, the lung and large intestine and the strength of the lungs can indicate how effective our immune system is. Also, in Chinese medicine theory, the lungs are in part responsible for protecting our body from being attacked by external influences. Often described as Wei qi or protective qi, our Wei qi protects the skin, nose and mouth from external attack by viruses, cold and germs. So, if the Wei qi is not strong, one can more easily catch a cold and it may last longer. Learning Qi Gong channel massage and breathing techniques are simple but powerful methods that can help strengthen the Wei qi.
Did you know that each season has a corresponding emotion?
Each of the 5 Elements in Chinese Medicine Theory have a corresponding emotion and the metal element is grief. When one grieves for too long, it is said to cause injury to the lungs.
When we connect to the seasons and the laws of nature, it can sometimes help us process our internal emotional highs and lows. As the seasons turn, we witness a colourful array of leaves as they change from green to all shades of yellow, orange and red and just as the trees drops their leaves letting go of what is not needed and moving their energy’s back into the trunk and roots to store for the colder months. We can also let go of the things that no longer serve us.
Humans inhale oxygen/air and exhale carbon dioxide and we can use this time of year to help us let go of feelings and thoughts that no longer serve a purpose which will enable us to create new or different ways of thinking and being. We find that time in the floatation tank is a perfect safe environment to do this processing whilst focusing on your inhalation and exhalation giving you quiet time to consider what is essential to you and your family; keeping what is of value and letting go of that which is no longer needed at the same time as aiding in the detoxification of skin cells.
Simple Daily habits
• Get enough whole foods into your diet including fresh vegetables and fruit, the more you prepared the less handling there is of food the better.
• Get enough quality sleep. Set up a routine that gives you at least 7-9 hours. If you are not sleeping well, find out why and yes, floating is a great place to start when it comes to improving quality sleep.
• Qi Gong is a style of breathing that is easy to learn and can be done anywhere.
• Reduce alcohol and other stimulates like coffee and sugar to a weekly not daily habit.
• Do some form of exercise daily such as a gentle walk around your neighbourhood.
• Since COVID19 came to town, we can be thankful that it has reminded us all to wash our hands a lot more often. This simple ritual saved many a life through history in medicine.
Benefits of Floatation Therapy
Floating is one of the best non activities you can do to remove stress from your system. Yes, it may take a few sessions to learn how to relax, but once you learn, it can be one of the best therapies to not only switch stress off but also strengthen your immune system. Floating has a unique ability to remove stress from multiple areas of your mind and body all at the same time the zero-gravity effect is profound.
Stress is a blessing and a curse; in short bursts it can be a great motivator but, in this day and age, we live with an underlining level of stress, we barely even notice anymore as it has accumulated over time. Starting small, a little anxiety, poor sleep for a few nights which becomes the norm and getting a good night is a bonus. Eating is rushed, meals are skipped, takeaway or eating out is more often than home cooked meals. Stress is not just about work or study but is our environment too. City living has a constant buzz and it was only because of what happened in 2020 where life took a sudden turn and the stars in the sky could be seen, pollution was dramatically reduced, and other things shifted our awareness. Stress looked different too. Still there but in a way, we never could have planned or foreseen.
Our health has become one of our highest priorities and learning different ways to manage stress is high on the global wellness agenda.
Floatation therapy is not new to many of us as it has been around since the 1960’s when Dr John Lilly started doing research on sensory deprivation and the effects it had on the brain and mind. It has come a long way in understanding the broader benefits both mentally and physically and more recently on the cellular level.
It was Michael Hutchinson who wrote “The Book of Floating” in 1984 that really brought attention to REST or sensory deprivation. Michael shared the research on the various areas that floating can enhance and be used and his personal experience and insights sent a wave on interest through America. Michael wrote “a person can actually strengthen his or her immune system”. He used the research from Dr John Turner and Dr Thomas Fine of the Medical College of Ohio showing how floatation therapy can lower adrenaline levels in the body stating that “high levels of cortisol are linked to a number of ailments and can depress the body’s immune system and contribute to poor sleep”. We are aware just how critical sleep is to a healthy immune system. Both our immune system and sleep quality are linked to our mood and our ability to deal with stress and anxiety. What floating can do is increase the time the brain spends in the delta and theta brain waves, both of which are present during deep meditation and sleep, enabling our system to reduce adrenaline surging through it and experiencing a reduction in stress and an increase in serenity. Michael also wrote that “through a consistent program of flotation therapy, not only can we learn how to inhibit the release of certain harmful or unwanted biochemicals, but we can also learn how to stimulate the release of other highly desirable biochemicals”.
In 2018, I was lucky enough to see MC Flux a Ph.D., a candidate and researcher at a float conference. Flux’s work followed on from Dr Tom Fine and Dr John Turner explaining how stress affects us on a cellular and molecular level so the biochemical reactions that occur when our body enters the fight-or-flight response and how this effects our immune response. Flux described the relationship between stress, relaxation and our immune system and in essence, if we have continual stressors in our life and our sympathetic nervous system is on constant alert, and we are constantly in flight and fight, the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline are being over exposed, effecting the immune system’s ability to function.
Mood and your Immune System
Are you aware how your immune system also effects your mood? Have you ever noticed when you are feeling unwell how emotionally flat you feel? Your immune response reduces the amount of serotonin (happy hormone) levels in the brain and the most common symptoms related to this are fatigue, an increase in sensitivity to pain, loss of appetite and an increase in anxiety. By floating on a regular basis, reducing stress in your body, and reducing cortisol levels, you can strengthen your immune system and improve your mood. To listen to the Flux’s presentation click on the following link https://www.watertemple.com.au/media/
Floatation therapy alone will not cure or fix what ails us. Like any activity we want to benefit from, we need to do it on a regular basis and be consistent. One yoga class won’t have you doing head stands.
The more frequent the better the results. So why not become a member and reap the benefits.